Roy Keane’s head and Roy Keane’s heart

Everyone and their grandma knows how the Champions League concluded in May 1999. That balmy night in Barcelona, when Ole Gunnar Solskjær won it for Manchester United. What some fans — not United fans, mind you — may forget is that United’s road to that final was perhaps even more dramatic than their late comeback to…

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Behind the red mist of Roy Keane

Some voices intrinsically command respect, others obedience, but as the powerful, deep growl boomed out there was only one emotion flooding over the shaking 12-year-old boy: pure fear. “What do you want?” Gripped with panic, he couldn’t move. The eerie shadow loomed ever larger behind the frosted glass in almost comic book proportions until it…

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Robbie Keane’s doomed spell at Inter Milan

The summer of 2000 produced two transfer fees that broke and re-broke the world record within the space of a month. Hernán Crespo’s £35.5 million move from Parma to Lazio and Luís Figo’s infamous £37 million switch from Barcelona to Real Madrid shocked many with the sheer scale of the numbers involved. It was the beginning…

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Robbie Keane: the son of Ireland

Chasing a lofted ball high into the October night sky, the player pushed himself hard to gain possession before his marker could. Clamouring for space 40 yards from goal, he was fixated on winning this battle. Breathing heavily inside the match’s opening few minutes, he looked eager to make an impact in front of the thousands…

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The death of football’s on-field general

I recently found myself watching a replay of the 1988 FA Cup final between the ‘Crazy Gang’ of Wimbledon and a heavily favoured Liverpool side on late-night television. As the footage cut out, I flipped the channel to see another film lost to history, General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech to Congress where he poignantly proclaimed: “Old…

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